By Trey Shaughnessy
Published September 17, 2007
Opera Ontario is launching an emergency fundraising campaign.
The Great Singers Recital Series, featuring legendary Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, will continue this Friday, September 21 at 8pm. The location has been moved to Centenary United Church, 24 Main Street West, next to Hamilton Place.
Mr. Heppner is generously donating his talents for the recital, turning his appearance into a benefit to kick off this vital campaign. The recital starts at 8pm and tickets are still $35, $55, and $75 and can be purchased by phoning (905) 526-6556.The emergency fundraising campaign will last 60 days and Opera Ontario hopes to raise one million dollars.
The company's accumulated operating deficit is in excess of $1 million. Opera Ontario needs to raise these funds in order to provide enough cash to continue the 2007-08 season, and to guarantee its over one thousand patrons and subscribers a sustainable future for the Opera in our community.
"There have been many reports about the financial state of the Opera," said Board Co-chair Dennis Darby in a press release.
While we do not have a significant amount of debt, the Company's operating deficit has accumulated to just over $1 million, as we have tried to operate in the face of reduced municipal government and corporate support. Without an influx of cash, we cannot continue our season.
The board of directors met on Friday and agreed that this was the only course forward. "There is no delicate way to say this, but this not for profit opera company is in need of its largest community and government show of support in its over 27 year history".
"The serious situation for Opera in Hamilton and Kitchener Waterloo comes while subscriptions are still strong and the quality of the performances and artists is unparalleled", said General Director David Speers.
Speers noted further that opera is "among the most expensive [art forms] to stage".
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